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Medicare ACOs Continue to Improve Quality of Care, Generate Shared Savings

September 29th, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued 2014 quality and financial performance results showing that more Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) continue to generate financial savings while improving the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries by fostering greater collaboration between doctors, hospitals, and health care providers.

When an ACO demonstrates that it has achieved high-quality care and effectively reducing spending of health care dollars above certain thresholds, it is able to share in the savings generated for Medicare. In 2014, 20 Pioneer and 333 Shared Savings Program ACOs generated more than $411 million in savings, which includes all ACOs savings and losses. The results also show that ACOs with more experience in the program tend to perform better over time.

Medicare ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients. The goal of coordinated care is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. When an ACO exceeds quality and financial thresholds – demonstrating achievement of high-quality care and wiser spending of health care dollars – it is able to share in the savings generated for Medicare.

In addition to those ACOs that generated savings, some ACOs had assigned beneficiary expenditures that were either greater than or less than their updated benchmark, but that fell within their minimum savings rate corridor. This means that they did not earn a performance payment.

“St. Vincent’s Accountable Care Organization has spent the first year of the program investing in the new model of care and has enjoyed an improvement in the quality delivered to our members,” said Kyle Sanders, President of St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside and System VP of Population Health Management. “Our processes are now in place and we fully expect to begin seeing cost savings in the coming years as we aggressively pursue the quadruple aim of care delivery: member satisfaction, provider satisfaction, improved quality of care and reduction of costs.”

For more detailed quality and financial results.